The College Station Planning and Zoning Commission will get its first look this evening at the preliminary plan for the Southern Pointe subdivision, the municipal utility district that's planned to replace the Texas World Speedway.
Several agreements related to the county's first municipal utility district -- originally created by resolution in March 2014 -- have been approved, and the plan to be considered by the commissioners today marks the initial stages of the design of the 553-acre development just outside the city limits off Texas 6. The preliminary designs for the master-planned community call for 1,994 single-family lots, two commercial lots, an urban lot, a school, a fire station and parkland.
"This is the first step as far as visually what the subdivision will look like," said senior planner Jenifer Paz, the project manager for the development. "This will establish the design."
In March, the City Council approved a development agreement that extends the city's planning authority over the municipal utility district, or MUD. While the district is located within the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, the agreement sets development standards for land use, density and more that are comparable to what would be required within the city limits.
Planning and zoning commissioners will consider 23 waivers for subdivision regulations related to block lengths and perimeters, street projections, parking and access ways that have been requested for the development. If any of the requested waivers are denied, the preliminary plan also must be denied, Paz said. City staff have recommended denial of 11 of the requested waivers.
A MUD is a political subdivision of the state authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide water, sewer, drainage and other services within the district's boundaries. Created as a way to finance infrastructure, developers front the costs of MUDs and are later reimbursed through the issuance of bonds. Taxes assessed on property within a MUD can also cover expenses.
When and if the preliminary plan for the MUD is approved by the planning and zoning commissioners, Paz said the next step will be for the subdivision to be platted in phases -- the final design for the subdivision can be tweaked during that process if the developer identifies a need to make changes to better reflect market demands.
A utility agreement approved in May makes the MUD responsible for all design and construction costs for all water and wastewater infrastructure for the development, while the city will provide the required capacity to serve it. A strategic partnership agreement adopted at the same time also outlines terms and conditions for the future annexation of the MUD into the city limits.
Approval of the preliminary plans would bring the Southern Pointe subdivision one step closer to reality. While the MUD will eventually sit on the site of the super-speedway in south College Station, normal operations there don't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
According to Texas World Speedway's website, private tests and events at the track are scheduled through the end of the year,